Transformative Floral Education: My Dream for Nectar & Bloom

Transformative Floral Education: My Dream for Nectar & Bloom

Throughout my years working as a floral artist and educator, I have been asked many times how and why I got started. I’m going to tell you that story now, in the spirit of sharing inspiration and any resonant nudge of permission or recognition you need to hear in this moment to keep building your own dream. The world needs the beauty you are here to create, and you deserve to thrive while doing it.


Nectar & Bloom began for me like a mystery plant that sprang up in the garden of my life. It was unexpected and brought with it no sign at all, or so I thought, of what was going to bloom from it. 



At the time, just after completing my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, I was working as a professor of English, teaching Literature & Writing courses at the University of San Diego. (I was also teaching yoga classes at a local yoga studio.) In the midst of that chapter, I found myself suddenly obsessed with the idea of starting my own business. I wanted to create, to be my own boss, and to build something of my own that could be my legacy, a channel through which I could authentically make a living and contribute to the world.


I had loved teaching my college students about the power of stories and storytelling, about how human beings connect and share meaning through words, language, and the craft of writing. What I yearned for, however, was an outlet to be creating with my hands and a chance to work as an artist. I also wanted autonomy and a career path that would allow me to positively impact people in a bigger and more aligned way.


When I started Nectar & Bloom, I began as a wedding and event floral designer. I had always loved hosting events and creating experiences for others, and I was craving work in a collaborative industry. I had been so impressed with the vendors Carr and I hired for our own wedding, and in working with them I felt like I discovered a whole new world in which artists could find a viable and reliable market. I needed that sense of security to begin. I also loved that I could use my background to craft poetry for my clients in the language of flowers. Event design gave me the flexibility to work out of a small room in the house we were renting at the time (with tarps down on the floor) while still teaching at the university.








After working for several months out of a small room with tarps on the floor in a rented house, we moved into our own home, where I took over the garage as my first creative space dedicated to Nectar & Bloom. I set up fold-out tables and worked on the bare cement floor under a low, drywall ceiling with the garage door open for light. Once I’d built up a steadier wedding and event design business, I slowly transformed the space into the studio of my dreams. 


I'm a "hit the ground running" kind of person, so once I'm in, I'm all in. I began booking my very first wedding clients within a few months, starting small with elopements and expanding slowly to small ceremonies. That fall I booked my first big wedding too, which took place in April of 2018. I practiced with flowers from the farmers markets until I got my seller's permit for wholesale flowers, I freelanced for other florists, I participated in shoots to meet other vendors, and I fully dove in with full passion and commitment, which paid off.


Just a couple of years after opening, I began teaching floral design workshops and mentorships to other florists. This hadn’t been the plan, but it didn’t surprise me at all, as every passion I pursue I also at some point feel called to teach. I simply love to learn and then share what I've mastered with others on a similar path. (I loved and studied yoga, and then I taught yoga. I loved and studied writing, and then I taught writing. I loved and studied floristry, and then I taught floristry. I bet you have patterns like this in your life too, where your calling just keeps showing up for you no matter where you go.) It felt wonderful to support other designers and aspiring designers in building their dreams in floral design, and it still does!






What I quickly learned while teaching and working weddings that did surprise me was how floral work in this industry could be a real grind with a very taxing toll on the body, nervous system, and overall health. Florists often haven't slept well in ages, their backs and necks and hands ache, and they likely forgot to eat or drink water all day too. This did not sit well with me.


Maybe it’s because I’m an athlete who found healing and relief from anxiety in the rituals and camaraderie of sports, and maybe it’s because I’m a person on a life-long healing journey who has sought many healing practices and modalities to transform pain into empowerment. One way or another I was deeply bothered by seeing first hand how such kind and talented people are doing the work they love and getting burnt out and depleted in the process. And it was happening to me too. I thought: surely it does not have to be like this.


While there is a certain impressiveness to being an artist who is also able to handle a complex event-week timeline plus manage the physical demands of a laborious job in design work, all while working with a perishable product, there are also the uncomfortable and unnecessary realities of hormone imbalance, chronic pain, injury, and burnout. It's also disorienting when you start out after a dream to create beauty for others with flowers but wind up feeling broken down, burnt out, and a long way from the spark that got you started.


Weddings and events are incredible experiences, and I’ve loved all of them,  even through the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. I've also found the sweetest clients, freelancers, and wedding vendor friends through this work. And at the same time, as I went on designing and teaching, I found that it was imperative for me to develop systems to make this work more holistic and sustainable for myself and my team, and for my students and fellow creatives. That is when I realized where I was meant to serve.






I felt called then to realign my business toward what felt most necessary and rewarding to me. My calling wasn’t only about making living poetry out of flowers for my clients, and it wasn’t only about teaching other floral artists how to design for their own events. It became about creating a more holistic approach to floristry and creative entrepreneurship for this beautiful, creative community, integrating my studies in yoga, Reiki, Ayurveda, and other wellbeing practices to create transformative floral education that supports the creative person as well as the creative process.


After building my workshops and mentorships for a year, I wanted to make holistic floral education more accessible to more people. Fueled by an additional need to replace all of my in-person workshops during the pandemic, I shifted to a period of live-online workshops that then transitioned over the years into developing online courses and the birth of Poetry of Flowers, my online membership and à la carte course collection.


With the arrival of our 7th year in business, the new Nectar & Bloom launched into the world, providing transformative floral education that supports the creative person as well as the creative process through integrating my studies in yoga, Reiki, Ayurveda, and other wellbeing practices with my holistic approach to floral design. This renaissance also brought with it the completion of long-term project the Tarot of Flowers, a tarot deck I crafted from the metaphoric wisdom of flowers, illustrated by my talented sister. What a thrill it has been sharing this new chapter with you!


It’s with immense gratitude that I celebrate seven years of business surrounded by a community that has allowed me the ability to unfold, evolve, expand, and become - or in other words “Bloom”. YOU are such a big part of this journey, and I am thrilled to be sharing in it with you.




If you are called to create, and you are pouring your life force and love into the work you do for others, you need to be cared for too. Our bodies are our creative instruments, and without them, we cannot create. Furthermore, just by being here and being alive, you deserve to thrive and enjoy your life! It’s not just about work. Work is essential. It is purpose, and it is income. Work is how we contribute, and it gives our lives meaning. But you do not need to make the ability to succeed in work the reason why or why not you get to receive support and care as a human being. 


All of nature is here to nourish and be nourished, to grow and to thrive. We as florists are working with Nature, and we as human beings are of Nature ourselves. Knowing that our work in floristry or in any creative or entrepreneurial field is inherently linked to the body in which we live, to the seasons around us, to the food we eat and the sleep we get, to the connections we have with others and the wonder and joy we experience, is life-changing, and it helps to shift this work into something no longer against a healthy, balanced life but in harmony with it. 


I am deeply passionate about this, about you and all of us getting to flourish holistically, about connecting your health and wellbeing with your purpose and your work and success. That is why I created Nectar & Bloom, truly, though in the beginning it started as a seedling simply saying “Make a business!!” that grew into a design studio that crafts poetry out of flowers and teaches holistic floristry.


“Nectar” is the nourishment of knowledge, education, community, and support. “Bloom” is the ability to unfold, evolve, expand, and become. This is why I’ve created Nectar & Bloom, to offer you a space where creatives like you can grow, refine, align, feel supported and nourished, and be empowered to succeed with authenticity and purpose. 


Here we learn and expand in our practices of floral art. We align into a more holistic approach to our ability to succeed and also to thrive. Here, my desire is for you to feel welcome, supported, and refreshed. This is a space where you can transform and become all of who you are meant to be.  


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